Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Pokey Update

Yup, that’s right…another pokey update. I was down with a nasty cold for about a week and put off Maudie’s vet appointment. We need to get a wellness check, then go to Dove Lewis to get “our papers” and talk about assignments.

The test itself. I’m not sure I addressed that yet. What I will remember is a beautiful sunny day in a parking lot behind a business park in Hillsboro, power lines framing the view, long low storage buildings filling the role of small storefronts. I ran Maudie up and back on the tarmac to relax us both, reminded her not to pull on her leash and we went and signed in.

There was a closed circuit camera in the test space airing on a tv set in the waiting room. It was impossible to really watch, so we sat and waited. And while we waited we watched dog after dog come out the door they went in, meaning they didn’t get through to the end.

I don’t think I really doubted us; and we were both in playful moods.
I was a little nervous, but I always remember that by the time we get there—the test site, the show ring—we are as ready as we are, no more, no less and all we can do now is show up, stay calm and try to have fun. After all, we are together and that’s the whole point, to be spending time with my dog.

Once in the room—a doggie daycare playground---Maudie became distracted and a little worried, but I kept focused and worked to keep her with me. It was a little hard because our tester explained every little part of the exercise after I had been studying the minutae for years already and I wanted to get on with it and not stand there trying to listen. I felt pretty obnoxious and impatient, but I also know that if we keep moving we can stay more focused. Of course, doing therapy work involves a lot of sitting around and being patient…but not under the same kind of pressure.

Maudie was Maudie despite her “float” and that means, stalwart, sweet and trying to do what was asked, but I could tell that she was only about one third present. It wasn’t a solid performance, but I think enough of our energy came to the surface to indicate that we are truly a capable team…and so we made it.

After the test, we sat and chatted with our tester and she took our photo and we left. A woman with a labradoodle was also in the “passed room” and I’m not sure I could say if anyone else ended up getting that far. I don’t know.

I was supremely happy and proud. And I even had the presence of mind to get air in the tire I was almost sure was going to go flat on the way TO the test.

Maudie was tired and M & I went and test rode some steel bikes with dropped bars, learned a lot about what size I needed and then went home and took a long nap….

Maudie and I went for a bike ride in the afternoon. I became aware of the long fingers of a virus sneaking into my capillaries. Even so I spent the next 4 days riding steel road bikes, bought a Jamis Aurora and then collapsed. I slept for 3 days.

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